Yesterday the Lieutenant Governor and the majority party leaders released the list of Senate committee assignments. Today, the women of the Senate responded.

When asked about why there was so little gender diversity in the committee leadership, Lt. Gov. Duncan claims that they actually have increased the number of women chairs from 2 to 4.

It’s important to note though that there are 27 committees, so even with this doubling of women chairs, we are still only 15% of the total leadership, and three of those four committees see very few bills. These are essentially “fake” committees where they pack Democrats, women, and people of color, to dilute their influence by not letting them do any legislative work. For example, “Special Judiciary”, chaired by a woman, handled just six bills in the last two years, while “Judiciary” handled 135 during that time. Women also chair “Science and Technology” and “Interstate Cooperation”, which handled just seven and three bills each.

Thousands of Georgians voted this past election to bring more diverse and progressive candidates to the State Senate. We are disenfranchising millions of voters when we prevent their legislators from playing a role in how bills that impact their communities are heard.

And that’s something I want to change. I will be serving on the Higher Education, Ethics, and Natural Resources Committees. I promise to do what I can wherever I can to support greater diversity in my committee work, and to look for opportunities to allow others to leverage my roles to stop suppression of progressive voices.